INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACTS, 1946 TO 2001
SECTION 26(1), INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1990
(REPRESENTED BY IRISH BUSINESS AND EMPLOYERS' CONFEDERATION)
- AND -
SERVICES INDUSTRIAL PROFESSIONAL TECHNICAL UNION
Chairman: Ms Jenkinson
Employer Member: Mr Keogh
Worker Member: Ms Ni Mhurchu
1. Pay rise, long service pay.
2. The Company is a small feed stock company employing about 38 employees, including 20 General Operatives who are members of SIPTU. The Company draws on various raw materials and makes feed stock for the fish farming industry and is based in Westport, County Mayo. The Company has been through several periods of different ownership and is now part of a global feed company with sister competitive companies throughout the United Kingdom.
The dispute concerns a claim by the Union for (1) an increase in pay and (2) additional leave for long serving staff. Discussions took place locally, but agreement was not reached.
The matters were the subject of a conciliation conference under the auspices of the Labour Relations Commission but agreement was not reached.
The matter was referred to the Labour Court on the 9th September, 2002, under Section 26(1) of the Industrial Relations Act, 1990. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 19th November, 2002, in Co. Mayo.
2. 1. The Union's claim was based on an attempt to bring workers rates of pay in line with the average industrial wage at the time i.e. £333.00.
2. Since February, 2002, the Union has met with the management and the workers nineteen times on these issues.
3. The workers have co-operated with changes and new technology and are not opposed to discussions on any changes that would reap benefit to them.
4. There is no indication of any further recruitment at the plant.
5 This claim is based on a claim dated December, 2000, and needs to be finalised to allow a clear path for future negotiations.
6. The workers are now trained to a high standard and each worker now operates with a degree of autonomy and keen knowledge of their own operation.
7. There are few industrial relation problems at the plant. The relationship between the management and the workers has been good.
4. 1. The Company's rates of pay are highly competitive and very attractive. There is little or no staff turnover.
2. The rates of pay compare very well to major multi-nationals locally.
3. The Company have introduced a sick pay scheme, pension scheme and VHI cover.
4. One of the Company's major customers has gone into liquidation and had left the Company with an outstanding bad debt of over a million euro.The forecast for 2002 is that this Company will not make its budget because of the lower margins.
5. The Company has made a very substantial offer and it is conditional on changes being willingly accepted and implemented.
The Court has considered the submissions of both parties. The Court recommends that the Company's offer of 1st July 2002, should be improved by extending the €11.40 per week flat payments up to 30th September 2002 and in recognition of those employees with long service the Company's offer should be amended to read:
After 13 year's service 2 extra day's holidays will be given (bringing the annualleave entitlement to 22 days)and after 18 years service an extra one day holidays will be given (bringing the annual leave entitlement to 23 days).
The Court has examined the claim for an increase of €9.40 which the Union claim is an outstanding element of an agreement concluded on 12th April 2001, the Court is satisfied that there is no basis for this claim and accordingly rejects this claim.
To address the outstanding matters referred to, the Court recommends that the parties should enter immediate negotiations on the Company proposals of 1st July 2002 with a view to reaching an agreement by no later than 31st December, 2002.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
16th December, 2002______________________
Enquiries concerning this Recommendation should be addressed to Helena McDermott, Court Secretary.